If you want your ideal prospects to find you online, you must avoid making these 3 key SEO mistakes.
It starts by understanding what it is search engines look for when ranking web pages.
In short, Google and other search engines work to give internet searchers web pages with relevant content.
Relevancy is useful information or products that best matches the keywords a visitor uses when searching the internet.
Of course, your goal is to get on page one of the search engine results pages (SERPs) for your keywords or keyphrase. It’s best to do extensive keyword research up front. So you already know what your prospects are typing in the search field.
But showing up on page one is just the first of two steps in your SEO solution. The second step is to get your prospect to click on your web page, instead of the competition’s.
And there’s a way to ensure you don’t just become more visible online, but also more likely to be clicked on first. And that is…
How to avoid these 3 key SEO mistakes other marketers still make online
1. Your solution’s USP is missing from your web page title tag and meta description.
Or worse, it doesn’t even have a USP.
Let’s say a web searcher has persistent joint pain in his elbow. He wants relief, but will only consider natural solutions. So he goes online to Google “natural joint pain relief”.
The search engine gives him nearly a half million pages of results for his keyphrase query.
Of course, if you’re a marketer who has joint pain solutions, you want to make sure you’ve entered this keyphrase—or very similar—in the title tag and meta description of your web page. It will help your solution rank high in the search results.
Plus, when a visitor sees this keyphrase, he has more confidence that clicking on your web page will take him to a solution for his problem.
But your competitors use the same keyphrase . So how do you get a visitor to click on your web page versus theirs?
Simple. By making sure the “tags” also highlight your web page’s unique selling proposition (USP). Some added benefit that distinguishes your solution from your competitors.
For example: many page one search results for the above keywords discuss “curing joint pain naturally using home remedies”. So that’s not unique…because they all claim to do that. Other results make big claims of even curing arthritis, or being the #1 joint pain remedy in the USA, but without mentioning any proof.
Instead, tell your visitors in your meta description or title tag that your solution:
- Is “clinically proven” to reduce joint pain.
- Has helped users get “relief within only 5 days”.
- Offers a “free trial period or your money back”. Go a step further and beat your competitor’s trial offer.
- Is a breakthrough or “proprietary formula” just introduced to the public.
- Is a “unique approach” to getting relief (ex., using magnetic jewelry).
You get the picture.
Remember, a web searcher has probably already tried other solutions. And is still disappointed, left without a solution.
Help them choose you—not out of desperation—but a sense of optimism and anticipation of solving their problem. You do that by giving them a specific, unique, compelling reason to try YOUR solution…instead of just another solution.
2. Content is king…but stale content can hurt your online visibility.
We already mentioned relevancy…creating content web searchers consider helpful. But many marketers forget or neglect to refresh their content periodically.
What’s the big deal?
Recent updates in Google’s search algorithms now factor “content freshness” into their relevancy criteria for web pages. Remember, Google—and other search engines—strives to give web searchers what they want. So they set out to punish content farms that crank out low-quality content.
What’s that mean to serious marketers?
You must constantly update your website with fresh, quality content. That is, if you want to get ranked higher in the search engines…and be seen by more prospects.
Look at it from your reader’s viewpoint.
If you don’t rank high in the search engines, a prospect doesn’t know you exist. Yet if she does find you, she has no reason to come back and visit unless you give her new information that continues to engage her wants, needs, or desires.
Plus, good fresh content creates excitement and attracts incoming links.
Only makes sense you should enjoy higher ranking for publishing consistent, engaging, high-quality content. The stuff web searchers want—and what Google insists on giving them.
With most marketers, this is where the light bulb goes off.
Finally they get why adding and maintaining a blog on their website is critical to online survival. Posting regularly to a blog is an effective way to be accountable for publishing fresh content…and attracting a big following.
A good rule of thumb is to publish one article to your blog each week.
So, fresh content doesn’t just help you get found on Google. It also gives your readers a reason to come back to your website again and again. So you have a chance to market to them…again and again.
3. Neglecting linkbuilding, or building links that actually harm your website.
Why are links so important to SEO? Because links back to your website tell the search engines that others spoke highly of your content.
They prove your credibility and reputation.
You’ve heard this before, but Google—and other search engines—insists on giving web searchers exactly what they want. So if you are attracting a lot of buzz on your website, it only makes sense new visitors would want to see what all the excitement is about.
And Google makes that even more probable by ranking you higher.
Linking within your own website is helpful, like referring back to previous posts. Yet getting backlinks is even more powerful.
But be cautious of “link farms” trying to sell you bulk links to artificially inflate your linkbuilding. Not only do they charge a hefty fee, but the links are from websites that lack good content and credibility. It won’t take long for Google to notice…and to drop your rank in the search engines.
Instead, build relationships with other trusted, reputable websites—like authority websites in your industry. When you get linked back to naturally, the added traffic improves your online reputation…and your value to search engines and visitors.
You can build quality links using other SEO compliant practices, like:
- Getting listed in search or membership directories.
- Posting in forums or blogs relevant to your niche.
- Publishing a press release on sites that do it for free. Just make sure your press release is truly newsworthy and not manufactured just to build a backlink.
- Participating in an affiliate program. Of course, you get charged for these links. But if you’re selling something on your site, the additional visitors may be worth the added cost of getting quality backlinks.
There are other linkbuilding strategies that can maximize your ranking in the search engines. Here’s an excellent article that goes into even more detail on the benefits and methods of attracting quality authority links to your website.
There you have it. 3 key SEO mistakes other marketers still make with their websites. Avoid these and you will become more visible to your online prospects…and get more clickthroughs.
About Jerry Bures
Jerry Bures is a direct-response web copywriter and marketing consultant. Since 2010, he has helped natural health, self-help and business opportunity clients—as well as local small businesses—become more visible, credible and profitable online.